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Council to Consider Decision to Deny Conditional Use Permit For Local Grocery Store

Published on Monday, September 20, 2021 | 5:00 am

The Pasadena City Council on Monday will review a Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) decision to deny a local grocery store that sells beer and wine products a conditional use permit to also sell a full line of liquor products.

The BZA found that the CUP would likely create conditions that would adversely affect the general welfare of the surrounding property owners, result in an undesirable concentration of premises for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the area, detrimentally affect the nearby surrounding area, aggravate probable problems created by the sale of alcohol, and is not in conformance with the goals, policies, and objectives of the city’s General Plan.

Three liquor stores are located within a mile of the market. 

Police have responded to dozens of calls for service near and around Linda Rosa Market, located in the 800 block of East Villa Street. The market’s owners are seeking a CUP to sell a full line of alcoholic beverages, including spirits, according to a city staff report. 

From Jan. 27 to May 10, Pasadena police reported responding to 55 calls for service within 500 feet of the market. The calls included complaints about theft, public disturbances, loitering, vandalism, burglary, and public drunkenness — and that was with the store selling only beer and wine. 

Last year, police reported a total of 192 calls for service within 500 feet of the store. 

In order to receive the CUP, the BZA needed to find that five conditions would be met by selling a full line of alcoholic beverages:

  • A substantial net employment gain on the site
  • A substantial increase in business taxes
  • A determination that the store is a unique business addition to the community
  • The store will contribute to the long-term overall economic development goals of the area
  • The project will result in a positive upgrading of the area 

When the matter came before a city hearing officer in February, it was determined those conditions would not be met if a full line of alcoholic beverages was sold at the store.

The market is considered “deemed approved” and began operation before owners were required to follow regulations and obtain conditional use permits, which can limit hours of operation and other business functions. 

Over the years, the city has fought to bring some “deemed approved” liquor stores into compliance.

Super Liquor and Walt’s Liquor Store on Orange Grove Boulevard were forced to operate under refined restrictions that forced owners to place stickers with the business’ name on bottles of liquor and limit the stores’ operating hours under the city’s “deemed-approved” ordinance which forces all liquor stores to operate under the same city-mandated standards.

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